Leafs won't like their report cards

Left winger Joffrey Lupul was the only member of the Maple Leafs to get an 'A' this season from the...

Left winger Joffrey Lupul was the only member of the Maple Leafs to get an 'A' this season from the Toronto Sun. (GETTY IMAGES)

Lance Hornby, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 5:12 PM ET

The Maple Leafs had their final meeting with the teacher Monday at the Air Canada Centre.

They aren’t going to like their final report cards after such good marks at the term’s halfway point and they know the new headmaster will be even harder to please next season:

GOALTENDERS

James Reimer

Mid-season C plus, Final grade D

Had benefit of the doubt after suffering an early season concussion, but after back-to-back shutouts in early February, his play was part of the problem. Could use a veteran tutor next year.

Jonas Gustavsson

Mid-season B minus, Final Grade D

Was lauded by Brian Burke for “saving our ass” in January. But couldn’t do it when the wheels really came off. Likely done as a Leaf, never got to take a playoff exam.

DEFENCEMAN

Luke Schenn

Mid-season C, Final Grade C minus

Once more led NHL in hits by defencemen, but his yearly swing from great season to sub-par was definitely in the red. Salary went up, ice time went down.

Dion Phaneuf

Mid-season B-plus, Final Grade D plus

The captaincy of the Leafs is a heavy burden in the best of times, but this mark was more about Phaneuf looking ragged on the ice too may times during the skid.

Cody Franson

Mid-season B minus, Final Grade C minus

Two coaches had trouble fitting him into their plans, but you get the feeling he can contribute under optimum conditions. Randy Carlyle will want him to play bigger next year.

Mike Komisarek

Mid-season C plus, Final Grade F

Broken arm hindered first half, but then spent too much time fighting the puck and stuck in the press box for a big ticket player. Carlyle gave him a chance.

John-Michael Liles

Mid-season B, Final Grade C

Only at the end of the season did he shake the final cobwebs from a December concussion. Helps the power play and leadership group when healthy.

Carl Gunnarsson

Mid-season B minus, Final Grade C plus

The most consistent Leaf defenceman all season and an ideal partner for Phaneuf under the right circumstances. But should make more of his special teams’ time.

Jake Gardiner

Mid-season C plus, Final Grade C plus

Kudos to the rookie for staying around all season and averaging more than 21 minutes of ice time. Made full use of his skating and offensive flair at the end.

Forwards

RW Colby Armstrong

Mid-Season incomplete, Final Grade D

Another frustrating year trying to gauge what Armstrong means to the team. But the concern is that when he was healthy, he was often benched.

C Tim Connolly

Mid-season C plus, Final Grade D plus

Stayed healthy almost all year to deter talk of his fragility, but the $9.5 million man went from first line centre on the pre-season depth chart to third-line checker.

C/LW Matthew Lombardi

Mid-season C, Final Grade C minus

Yes he’s back and glad to be here after a career-threatening head injury. The question now is, how does Toronto justify his salary if better players are added next year?

LW Clarke MacArthur

Mid-season C, Final Grade D plus

After the talk about how much of a raise he deserved, MacArthur seemed a step behind from the start of the season. But his difficulties mirrored his entire line’s troubles.

LW Mike Brown

Mid-season C, Final Grade C

One of the few players who won’t have to re-invent himself to play under Carlyle. But his style has come at a heavy price through injuries in both his seasons as a Leaf.

LW Joffrey Lupul

Mid-season A, Final Grade A minus

The best thing about watching the Leafs this year. Ignited the first line and didn’t go more than a game without a point through early January. Can he repeat?

C David Steckel

Mid-season C plus, Final Grade C minus

Proved to be a smart early-season pick-up, dominating faceoffs, though didn’t escape the early-season penalty killing problems. Profile was heightened under Carlyle with an eye to next year.

LW Jay Rosehill

Mid-season C, Final Grade C minus

Went from inactivity through much of the Ron Wilson regime to rapid promotion under Carlyle. Carved a decent few years with the Leafs, but the UFA could be done here.

RW Matt Frattin

Mid-season C, Final Grade C minus

Did a little bit of everything this year, helped Marlies, was a role player with Leafs and saw some time on Toronto’s top scoring lines. Will get one more chance to light it up during AHL playoffs.

RW Nikolai Kulemin

Mid-season D minus, Final Grade F

One of the biggest production drop-offs in recent memory, from 30 goals to seven with the fire gone from his game. Bad timing in a contract year, but the old Kulemin would be a good fit under Carlyle.

C Tyler Bozak

Mid-season B, Final Grade C minus

On one hand, he was the weakest link on the first line, but beat all challengers for the job, improved his plus minus dramatically and had a career-best 47 points.

LW Joey Crabb

Mid-season C plus, Final Grade C minus

Started in the minors again and fought his way up, adding 11 goals in expanded role under Carlyle. A UFA who should be brought back, unless there’s a real bottom six upgrade.

RW Phil Kessel

Mid-season A, Final Grade B

Career year, more points than any Leaf since Mats Sundin in 1998-99, but his fate was too intertwined with Lupul and without the latter, Kessel dropped out of sight near the end. Being physical under Carlyle could be a challenge.

C Mikhail Grabovski

Mid-season B minus, Final Grade C

Numbers were down, but he was the only member of the second line to have a decent season. The key will be achieving and maintaining high numbers next season when his new deal kicks in.

INCOMPLETE GRADES

G Ben Scrivens, RW Carter Ashton, RW Nazem Kadri, RW Joe Colborne

MANAGEMENT

Coach Randy Carlyle and staff

C minus

A change was overdue before Burke replaced Wilson with Carlyle, but it’s clear now that the problem went deeper than the old staff. Carlyle knows the full story now and how much work is ahead.

GM Brian Burke

Mid-season B, Final Grade D minus

Things were going smoothly until mid-season, with a few highlights. But continual inability to produce a top goalie, No. 1 centre and big-ticket contract conundrums have meant four years out of playoffs.

 


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